American Airlines has announced it will once again start offering direct flights to Los Angeles from Durango from next summer. The flights services would be launched starting June 3 and continue till August 19, 2017. The seasonal weekly service would be conducted every Saturday. The airline first started summer seasonal flights on the route last year.
Tony Vicari, interim Director of the Durango-La Plata County Airport, said, “It is great that American Airlines has decided to return to Durango once again for a second year. Had the airline been not satisfied with passenger numbers, it would have decided not to continue the route. The airline’s decision to invest resources in the route for second year is proof enough that it wants to explore the market further and evaluate the outcome on the route in the long term.”
Vicari said that the pricing on the route was pretty competitive last year. This time it is expected that the fares would come down significantly. He said that the number of seats sold in June last year were somewhat low, though the load factors rose in July and August to nearly 70 percent, which is comparable to other seasonal flights.
“American Airlines has been asked to increase more frequencies to its seasonal service by including weekdays as well. This would hugely prove advantageous for business travelers. The airline is however viewing Durango more as a tourist destination during the present time. The return of the seasonal service shows that the airline is interested in the market, but there has to be enough proven passenger demand in order to serve on weekdays too,” said Vicari.
The landing fees for the Durango-Los Angeles route has been waived for the airline this summer. This practice is customary for new routes. The airport officials have however said that it is unlikely that landing fees would be waived next summer. Apart from the nonstop seasonal service to Los Angeles, American Airlines is also conducting daily flights to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on year-round basis.